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The opposition March of Millions passed in Moscow without incidents

June 13, 2012, 11:55 UTC+3
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The opposition action March of Millions passed in Moscow on June 12. The organizers of the rally believe that about 100,000 people were participating in the protest action. The police called the figure of 18,000 people. The intentions to show that people cannot be intimidated with searches and summons of the leaders of the protest actions in the Investigation Committee were voiced mostly frequently as the motive. The organizers and the Moscow Mayor’s Office were satisfied with the protest action. Despite the predictions of the radical opposition and the authorities no clashes occurred with the OMON riot police as at the protest action on May 6.

The situation on the eve of the second March of Millions gave all grounds to believe that the oppositionists ready for new clashes with the authorities will come to the venue at the Pushkinsky movie theatre, the Kommersant daily reported. On Monday, organizers of the action Alexei Navalny, Ilya Yashin, Boris Nemtsov and Sergei Udaltsov underwent searches, then they were summoned for interrogations. At the same time the operatives detained new suspects of participation in the clashes with the OMON riot police during the first March of Millions on the Bolotnaya Square on May 6.

However, it became clear at the sight of participants in the Tuesday march that the radicals constitute a minority, the newspaper affirmed.

The March of Millions ended with a rally on the Sakharov Avenue. At the rally the opposition leaders decided for the first time to put an emphasis on most massive protests held in the Russian capital for the last few months. “We should hold the election rerun in the Moscow City Duma and elect a new mayor of Moscow,” journalist Sergei Parkhomenko pointed out.

After the searches and the enactment of the new law on rallies people, who decided to participate in the second March of Millions or the action under the motto Russia Day without Putin, were afraid of clashes with police, the RBC daily reported. Contrary to May 6 there were much fewer policemen. The police were ensuring order near the protest action, mainly in the yards. The march passed without any incidents, regardless profane words, which the columns of nationalists and leftist radicals were crying out against each other. They did not fight with each other.

New political times probably should be dated from the second March of Millions, the Vedomosti daily believes. The civil movement became institutionalizing, the authorities began to take the off-system opposition in earnest, yet they did not find another dialogue mode except for searches and interrogations.

The Tuesday march on the Boulevard Ring with the rally on the Sakharov Avenue did not break a record number of participants, but was compared with the number of participants at the winter protest actions, the newspaper noted. On the eve of the march the organizing committee has taken a draft manifest, which put forward the demands, first, the dismissal of Vladimir Putin as a symbol of the deformed system of power, secondly, the endorsement of a new constitution in order to restrict the powers and the term of presidency and broaden the powers of parliament. The protests began a peaceful anti-criminal revolution, the authors of the manifest believe. The diversification of methods is needed now: not only rallies and marches, but also strikes and actions of civil disobedience.

The coordination council will assume responsibility for various protest actions and the fulfilment of the manifest. The coordination council will be elected from representatives of various political and civil forces.

The searches on the eve of the march and the interrogations of the opposition leaders on the day of the march should have brought down the number of participants in the action and should have worsened the level at which it was organized, but the expectations did not prove true, Andrei Ryabov from the Carnegie Centre said.

But a law enforcer acknowledged that the operative measures were aimed at preventing the disorders on June 12 contrary to those on May 6, and this goal was attained.

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